Teaching Faculty

Mrs. Mindy Canalori

Kindergarten Classroom Teacher


Mrs. Danielle Herrmann

Kindergarten Classroom Teacher

Ms. Herrmann has been teaching Kindergarten in New Haven since 1999.  She has worked at Timothy Dwight School and Augusta Lewis Troop School before coming to Nathan Hale in 2011.  Ms. Herrmann got her Master in Education from The University of New Haven and completed her undergraduate studies at Sacred Heart University and Albertus Magnus College.  “I absolutely love teaching Kindergarten.   Young children are eager to learn and as a Kindergarten teacher, I am responsible for integrating them into the world of learning and to build a love for school.”

Mrs. Lorena Lubanda

Kindergarten Classroom Teacher


Mr. Ryan Reynolds

First Grade Classroom Teacher


Mr. Reynolds has been teaching in New Haven Public Schools since 1996. Mr. Reynolds has a Masters of Education from the University of Bridgeport and a Bachelors of Science in Studio Art, specializing in graphic design. Mr. Reynolds began his career at Worthington Hooker School teaching both kindergarten and first grade.  "It is my personal goal to develop the whole child by providing an approach that sets high expectations, builds positive, healthy relationships and engages the learner through innovative techniques for the students of New Haven Public Schools."

Ms. Rebecca Harmon

Grade 1 Classroom Teacher


Ms. Stacey Cormier

Grade 2 Classroom Teacher

Mrs. Cormier earned her BA from Wheelock College in 1998. She began her career in Newton, Massachusetts, teaching pre-k.  In 1999, she moved back home to Connecticut teaching pre-k for a brief time.  In 2001 she started her career in New Haven, working at Wexler Grant Community School for 10 years.  In 2008 she earned her master’s degree from SCSU.   In 2011, she joined the Nathan Hale family.  "There is no greater joy than to mold young minds of today and create the next generations of life long learners"


Ms. Jessica Matey

Grade 2 Classroom Teacher

Ms. Taylor Gambino

Grade 3 Classroom Teacher


Ms. Jennifer Palmer

Grade 3 Classroom Teacher

Ms. Palmer earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in reading from Walden University.  She has been teaching for New Haven Public Schools since 1998.    Her career began right here at Nathan Hale in 1997 as a student teacher and then long term substitute.  Her first permanent teaching position was in Grade 4 at Martin Luther King School.  She has also taught at Clinton Avenue, Edgewood Magnet School, and Davis Street Arts Magnet School.  Most of her career has been spent teaching grades 3 and 4, but also taught 2nd grade for one year.  She gratefully came full circle back to Nathan Hale in 2015 as a fourth grade teacher.  “It is truly amazing how time flies and I keep having fun when I am doing a job I truly love and has always been my passion”.

Mr. Kevin Flanagan

Grade 3 Classroom Teacher


Mrs. Tricia Parillo

Grade 4 Classroom Teacher

Tricia Parillo started teaching in 2007 and has been fortunate enough to teach at Nathan Hale School.  She has taught grade 4, grade 3 and grade 6 at Nathan Hale School.  Tricia received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified to teach grades K-6.  She received her master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University in School Health and is certified to teach health to grades K-12.  “I love teaching for many reasons.  Some of the many reasons I love teaching is, knowing that I am helping students succeed in all areas of their life.  I love learning something new about myself and my students every day.  I love working at Nathan Hale and having the support of the staff and families to help all children succeed and learn to their full potential.  It is a gift to help mold the young minds of students and help them in all aspects of their life, academically and emotionally.”

Ms. Michele Ricci

Grade 4 Classroom Teacher

Mrs. Larissa Giordano

Grade 5 Teacher

Mrs. Giordano earned her BA in Journalism from Ithaca College in 1999.  She later returned to get her MBA in Elementary Education at Sacred Heart University. She has been teaching in New Haven Public Schools for twelve years beginning at Vincent Mauro grades 2 and 3 and now at Nathan Hale grades 2, 4, 5 and 6.   Her favorite part about teaching is being with children and capturing their spirit in their smiles

Mr. Lou Forte

Grade 5 Teacher

Mr. Ryan Mullins

Grade 6 Teacher

Ryan Mullins received his Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Connecticut and his Master’s Degree from University of New Haven. Ryan was a student teacher in second grade, long term substitute in third grade, and a building substitute at Nathan Hale School during the previous school year. This year he began his teaching career as a fifth and sixth grade writing teacher. “Teaching has been my dream job since I was in middle school. Having the privilege to engage and work with such a dynamic group of young people is an incredibly rewarding experience. I learn something new every day from working with them.” 

Ms. Prema Vora

Grade 6 Teacher

Mrs. Trudy Anderson

World Language Teacher (Grades 6-8 Spanish)

Mrs. Anderson has been teaching since 1992. During this time she has taught Spanish and French. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Connecticut, A Master of Science in Education from the University of Bridgeport and a 6th Year Professional Certificate in Education Foundations from Southern Connecticut State University. "I like teaching because it is never boring. Every day is different. I love teaching Spanish because seeing the students' increased proficiency amazes me every year."

Ms. Katelyn Bellmore

Literature Teacher (Grades 7-8)

Kate Bellmore joined the Nathan Hale School community in 2010, as a Lighthouse Literacy Tutor, and then became the 7th/8th grade language arts teacher in 2012.  Outside NHS, Kate teaches English at Southern Connecticut State University. She has a Bachelors of Theatre and English from SCSU, as well as a master’s in English secondary education.  Her certification is in English (7-12) and dramatic arts.  “I love my job here at NHS because every day I get to (re)read relevant, rewarding texts with my students. As we read To Kill a Mockingbird and The Outsiders together, I have the privilege of guiding students into understanding how they can be strong readers, thinkers, and analyzers with some of the most dynamic, engaging texts available."


Mrs. Melanie Carder

Social Stuides Teacher (Grades 7-8)

Melanie Carder has been teaching 7th & 8th graders Social Studies and American History at Nathan Hale School since 2000.  She is a graduate of Southern CT State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in social sciences and her master’s degree in education.  The reason why she loves to teach is her desire to make the world a better place for everyone. Her inspiration is this quote from Benjamin Disraeli, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”

Mr. George Evans

Math Teacher (Grades 5-8)

Ms. Ashley Jones

Math Teacher (Grades 5-8)

Mrs. Evelyn Gallagher

Science Teacher (Grades 7-8)

Evelyn Gallagher has been teaching 7th and 8th grade science at Nathan Hale School since 2006. Prior to that, she taught 7th and 8th grade for 1/2 of a year in Southington and 1 year in Meriden and 1 year as a 7th through 12th grade science substitute in Cheshire. Evelyn received a bachelor's degree in geology and environmental science from Long Island University at C.W. Post, a master's degree from Auburn University in geology and masters degree from Southern Connecticut State University in environmental education.  “I love teaching middle school science because I believe that studying the world around us is an exciting subject that is dynamic, interesting and has real world applications to our lives.” 

Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston

English Teacher (Grades 7-8)

Liz Johnston has been teaching since 2003—most of those years at Wilbur Cross High School where she was fortunate to have had extremely varied teaching opportunities from Read 180 to AP English Language and Composition as well elective courses  that included Women’s Studies, African-American Literature, Shakespeare and Creative Writing.  She has also worked at Hopkins’ Breakthrough program, been a member of NHPS’ English Language Arts high school curriculum writing team, and spent 2 years teaching at High School in the Community before coming to Nathan Hale. “I suppose you could say I’ve come full circle as a Nathan Hale alumna who’s back here to teach.”  “I have always loved to write and believe that writing can be very powerful for all of our students: storytelling or poetry, rhetorical arguments, or a simple letter of apology all have the power to make the world a better place. We all know writing matters in school, but my not-so-secret wish is that every student of mine learns to harness the power of writing in a way that matters dearly to them.  The potential that writing holds, coupled with the spirit and enthusiasm of middle school students makes for an incredibly cool job!”


Ms. Licia McKnight

Special Education Teacher (Grades 6-8)/ Study Skills Teacher (Grades 7-8)


Planning and Placement Team Chairperson

Mrs. Christina Ferraro

Reading Teacher & Interventionist (Grades 5-8 REad 180)

Christina Ferraro followed her daughters to Nathan Hale. She began as a substitute teacher and eventually started working full time as Ms. Ricci’s paraprofessional. With the inspiration, guidance and support of the Nathan Hale family she got her teaching certificate, in 2002, from Springfield University, and has been a teacher here ever since.  “The teachers made it look so easy.” She said.  Christina graduated with her master’s in literacy from Walden University. She is a member of the Yale Teacher’s Institute.   “I love to read and am fascinated by how our brain learns.  This is a very exciting time to be a teacher. Researchers now have the tools to identify specific teaching practices that truly work. The strategies we are putting into place make classrooms more enjoyable and less stressful. I think it empowers students when they realize they can train their brains.”

Mrs. Heather Miller

Physical Education Teacher (Grades PreK-8)

Wellness Coordinator/ Lead Teacher

Ms. Miller earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree at Springfield College, where she majored in Movement and Sports studies.  She was also a division III field hockey player with two bids to the NCAA Division III national championships in 1999 and 2000.  Ms. Miller graduated from Springfield College in 2001 and returned home to Connecticut to pursue her career in teaching.  Ms. Miller began teaching in New Haven in 2001 at Sheridan Communications and Technology Magnet Middle School.  She taught at Sheridan until 2006 when she transferred to the Nathan Hale family in the fall of 2006.  Ms. Miller earned her master’s degree in health education from Southern Connecticut State University in 2010.  Ms. Miller is currently teaching at Nathan Hale as the Physical Education teacher and Wellness Coordinator.   “When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts.”  Dalai Lama

Mr. Matt Pascuzzo

Physical Education Teacher (Grades PreK - 8)

Matt Pascuzzo has been teaching since 2013 and has only taught at Nathan Hale School.  He teaches Physical Education and Health Education. In 2013 he received his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Movement and Sport Studies with a concentration in physical education. 

“I love my job because I am a sports guy and I am fortunate to be around it all day. I love to teach students new skills about sports/fitness and see them develop over the years.”

Ms. Susan Horne

Art Teacher (Grades k - 8)

Susan Horne is in her eighth year of teaching art. She taught Pre-K to 5 for three years in Montville, CT; taught Pre-K to 8 for two years in Boston, MA and has been teaching at Nathan Hale since 2012. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts with a focus on Art History from Assumption College in Worcester, MA and her M.A. in Art Education from SCSU.  “What I love most about my job is seeing the sheer joy students have when they are using their imagination to create art.”

Ms. Gillian Greco

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Gillian Greco graduated from UConn in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a Bachelor of Science in Education.  She also graduated from UConn in 2012 with a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  In 2011 she started teaching General Music in New Haven, and in 2012 started at Nathan Hale.  “I love teaching because I get to listen, play, create, and move to music every day with my students.” 

Mrs. Phyllis Voira

Technology Teacher (Grades K-8)

Phyllis Voira has been teaching since 1997.  Her first 4 yours she taught at Fair Haven Middle School as a 6th grade teacher.  In 2003, she was hired at Nathan Hale as a 5th grade teacher and then taught the following year as a 6th grade teacher.   Since 2005 Phyllis has been the technology teacher here at Nathan Hale.  Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Haven, a master’s degree in education from the University of New Haven, and a master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Hartford.  “I love my job because I am passionate about technology and the importance it has in our world today.”

Ms. Briana Bellinger-Dawson

Grades 5-8 Dance and Dramatic Arts Teacher

Ms. Cina Branco

Special Education Teacher

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